Movie Trailers

Entourage Movie

As with most of my perception of the eight season run of the HBO show Entourage, I’m now convinced that its movie spin-off is going to be primarily about Ari Gold, the angry agent played by Jeremy Piven. In between sequences of bikini-littered parties and driving in expensive SUVs, there will be plenty of Ari. Also, series creator Doug Ellin (who returns to write and direct the movie) has also brought back the usual bros: Vince, Turtle, E and Drama. Yes, they weren’t kidding. The first Entourage trailer has arrived. Soak it up, bros.

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Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus

Is Will Smith still a national treasure? That’s what the second trailer for Focus has me considering. Years ago it was impossible to find someone who hadn’t succumbed to the charms of Big Willie. Not only did he give us “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It”, but he quickly proved himself as a hugely bankable and likable movie star. Smith was a charismatic star, but not exactly an actor with massive range. Great actors have the capability of surprising audiences, but Smith, by and large, gave his fans what they wanted. Every once in a while he’d change things up, but we’d usually end up with the same wisecracking presence onscreen, and there’s nothing entirely wrong with that. There was a demand for his easygoing charm, at least until recently. His last starring role was in After Earth – a major critical and box-office failure and all around bad movie. This year he did his buddy, Akiva Goldsman, a solid by appearing in Winter’s Tale and, boy, he must be one helluva friend, because he did Goldsman more than a favor by showing his face in that movie. Now, more than a year and a half after After Earth, Will Smith is back in a starring role with Focus, a film from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The con film, which co-stars Margot Robbie, looks real slick, pretty and charming.

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Warner Bros.

Ron Howard doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He’s seen as a journeyman, and while maybe that’s a fair label, it’s often used to dismiss his work. It’s understandable some people undervalue the guy who directed The Dilemma, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but Howard is also responsible for Apollo 13, Parenthood, freaking Night Shift, The Paper, Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind. What’s respectable about Howard as a filmmaker is that, even this far into his career, he’s trying new things and pushing himself. Sometimes the result doesn’t always work, but a journeyman isn’t the kind of director that takes the occasional risk like Howard does. Last year a huge gamble of his paid off: Howard made one of his best films with Rush – a movie filled with energy, passion and excitement. The movie wasn’t a hit at the box-office or at awards ceremonies, but it’s a film from last year people actually continue to talk about. Since the filmmaker doesn’t have a signature style, it’s hard to say a movie doesn’t feel like a “Ron Howard movie,” but Rush really doesn’t feel like a Ron Howard movie. The cinematography, editing choices and camera moves were like nothing he’s ever done before. It looks like the same guy who made Rush has returned for In The Heart of the Sea, an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick‘s novel, which follows the crew of the Essex and its beefy captain (Chris Hemsworth) as they face off against Moby Dick. Take a look at the latest trailer for In the Heart of the Sea:

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The Longest Ride

Way back in August, we gleefully/somewhat confusedly broke down a then-new trailer for The Best of Me, this year’s single Nicholas Sparks offering, to determine just how “Nicholas Sparks” it actually was. Verdict: very Nicholas Sparks! So it wasn’t entirely shocking when the finished product, a sappy and soppy love story starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, proved to be just as Sparksian in its delivery. Sparks is back again with yet another feature film (since 2012, the author has averaged one film based on his novels per year, so no one should ever be surprised when a new one crops up, which is terrifying but true), one that just might mix up the brand. Kidding! It looks extremely Sparksian, but perhaps The Longest Ride will at least benefit from a slightly new-sounding backdrop: bull riding. Starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood, The Longest Ride explores the fated love between an artsy young lass and a bucky young stud (who, yes, likes bull riding). Will true love find a way? Will all the bulls be okay? Who will randomly die of cancer first? Let’s take a look at the first trailer to lay some guesses.

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True Story

James Franco makes a lot of movies, many of which aren’t released for a very long time. See his 2010 documentary Saturday Night, for instance — and now you actually can, thanks to Hulu, six years after it was shot and four after it had its premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. I’d like to assume The Interview will also eventually see the light of day, despite Sony’s current plans to shelve the movie entirely, without any kind of theatrical or home video release, due to the threat against any venue willing to show the comedy. A big studio feature is different than a nonfiction pet project like Saturday Night, of course, as is the reason for its deference. I’ve seen industry experts speculate that Sony will write-off The Interview as a total loss to collect on their insurance, and that would mean the movie couldn’t ever be released down the road after this all blows over. We’ll just have to move on to what’s next from Franco, then. While I’m not sure what will be released first, the actor has two new features debuting next month at the Sundance Film Festival. One is I Am Michael, which has Franco starring as the real-life Michael Glatze, a former gay rights activist who later denounced his homosexuality. The other is True Story, in which he plays another real person, Christian Longo, who murdered his wife and three small children in 2001. We can say it in those terms rather than having to write “he […]

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2014review_trailers

Movie trailers have become an odd business unto themselves. As the promotional budgets for blockbusters spiral upwards to ridiculous heights, we’ve recently seen the introduction of things like trailer teasers (ultra-brief trailers for trailers). Studios now want to build anticipation for things meant to build anticipation for other things. Where will it end? It won’t. Things will only get more ridiculous from here — just wait and see. Still, on their own, trailers make for addictive viewing. I reinforced that for myself in perusing every notable trailer that came out this year in order to make this list. They are made to suck you in, to be watched over and over; the hope is to create a void in the viewer that can only be satisfied by seeing the film proper. Taken independently of their films, trailers are curious beings. They are all potential, all speculation generators, even after their movies come out and we know whether their promise ends up fulfilled. Even though I didn’t end up enjoying the films that each trailer here promoted, I still come back to those trailers. They still stand alone as works of … perhaps not art, but something artistic, at least. So without further ado, here are 14 of the trailers I just couldn’t shake from 2014.

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Open Road

The Gunman. Call it a prestige version of Taken. It even has the same director. The difference? In the place of Liam Neeson, The Gunman stars multiple Academy Award winner and very serious actor Sean Penn. Based on the first trailer, released today and presented for your viewing pleasure below, the story seems pretty similar. Penn plays a former killer whose past comes back to haunt him, leaving him with his back to the wall and a gun in his hand. Hard Cut to: he shoots his way out.

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Warner Bros.

You really don’t need to watch this second trailer for next year’s Mad Max: Fury Road. You’ll want too of course, especially after the magnificence of the first trailer that premiered this past summer, and we honestly can’t blame you. But you still don’t need to watch this new one. The problem isn’t that this latest trailer underwhelms — on the contrary as it’s loaded with awesomeness that makes the wait for the film’s release next May even more of a struggle. And it’s not like the trailer spoils any plot points or character reveals either. No, our suggestion here is simply that you save the epic action-beats on display here for the big screen. Wait until you’re actually seated for the movie itself so your first time viewing of the orgasmic mayhem is in context and projected at bigger than life size. But, if you can’t resist another glimpse at the explosive siren call of director George Miller‘s long-awaited return to the dusty and deadly future, if you definitely can’t wait another five months, then check out the new trailer below.

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Joseph Gordon Levitt in The Walk

Many remakes of documentaries are announced but very few wind up being made. The Walk is the latest exception, as we at least got sight this week of some footage in a teaser trailer for the Robert Zemeckis film, which is basically a redo of James Marsh‘s Oscar-winning 2008 doc Man on Wire. Both are based on Philippe Petit‘s autobiographical book about his famous tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. Man on Wire is told by Petit and others with archival and reenactment material thrillingly illustrating the unbelievable story. The Walk stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the French funambulist, and this new fully dramatized version is going to play in IMAX 3D. Maybe it will play like an acted-out rehash what we’ve already seen done quite well in the doc, but from the teaser it looks like Sony (via TriStar Pictures) is selling this more for the spectacle. The two-minute spot features only one scene, of Gordon-Levitt (looking nothing like Petit, I have to say) arriving on the roof of one of the buildings of the World Trade Center (looking quite incredible in its reproduction, I have to say) and then balancing on a girder while triumphant music lets us know there’s something magical or magnificent going on. If you don’t know what it’s all about, you might think this was a superhero movie teaser about a guy who can fly, until he doesn’t jump off the tower and start soaring and the words “based on a […]

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Disney/Pixar

Here’s what’s great about the trailer for Pixar’s Inside Out: it’s adorable realism. Yes, the dinner conversation where mom is prying, dad is tuned out (or tuned into sports) and young daughter is lashing out can be a cliche, but this is an excellent look at what it means to twist convention enough to make it work wonders. Instead of three personalities at a table, we get 15. We’ve known for a long time that the film would focus on the different emotions inside a little girl’s head, and we found out recently that we’d see other characters’ emotions as well, but the command center they’ve got set up is a smart touch. It’s not that these emotions live in the same space, but that they are meant to work together 24/7 even if they don’t always work well as a team. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Magnolia Pictures

New trailers drop every day. Here are three recent ones. There’s no overriding theme between these three aside from their 2015 release dates and ability to capture our attention and leave us wanting to see more. San Andreas is a disaster picture featuring Dwayne Johnson as the head of an ensemble struggling to survive a massively devastating earthquake in California. Still Alive focuses on another tragedy, but this one is far more personal as Julianne Moore plays a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Lastly, White God is a Hungarian film featuring an uprising by the abused and downtrodden who just happen to be canines.

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It Follows Movie

It makes an insane amount of sense that on the 10th anniversary of Saw‘s release, the most hyped horror film has a stripped down concept that produces tense magic with nothing up its sleeve. There are no intricate traps, just raw fear. Rob reviewed It Follows at Fantastic Fest, and I can echo every word of his review. David Robert Mitchell’s sophomore feature has teenage touches of his Myth of the American Sleepover, but it uses a simple mistrust of connection (specifically sexual) to create a monster with a billion faces whose real power comes from persistence. I’ve always thought of zombies working as villains because, despite moving like molasses, there are enough of them to make the attack overwhelming. In It Follows, there’s only one thing coming (slowly) for the young woman unlucky enough to bed down the guy cursed with murderous baggage, but somehow it’s abjectly terrifying. It’s a horror film that explores what happens after “just run away!” fails miserably. Now there’s a teaser trailer for it, complete with French review quotations. Classy. Check it out for yourself and start looking over your shoulder for the rest of the day. Oh, and being careful who you have sex with.

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Paramount Pictures

It’s been a long past few weeks for movie fans who aren’t into remakes, sequels or reboots. In fact, the dodging of nostalgia has been at an all-time high with trailers for a new Jurassic Park film, a new Star Wars film and a few films featuring characters we’ve heard of before (Cinderella, Pan). It would be easy to be burned out at this point. The timing for a film like Terminator Genisys — a reboot of sorts that recasts all the original Terminator roles (save for that main guy) and breaks the timeline into something vastly different — couldn’t be worse. Despite poor timing and the still looming shadow of the Star Wars trailer, Paramount has released the first trailer of the film from Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor. And guess what? It’s a lot of fun.

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Walt Disney Studios

If you’ve so far avoided checking out the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens because you don’t consider yourself a fan of one of the most famous, popular and profitable film franchises in cinematic history, well, that’s kind of weird. On the other hand, it’s not too late to get on board with the series, especially since we have an entire year to go until J.J. Abrams’ entry in the franchise zips into a theater near you. That’s plenty of time to catch up on six three films! Not sold on the idea? That’s okay, because we’ve picked out six elements from the first teaser trailer — which is only 88 seconds long — that just might enthrall even the biggest Star Wars novice. Come on, give it a try.

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Walt Disney Studios

The first teaser for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens has finally dropped! (And the “Episode VII” part has apparently been dropped as well.) Now we only have to wait another fifty four weeks for the actual film to open. Little is known about the film’s plot, but much is suspected and rumored. We do know that the story takes place roughly thirty years following the events of Episode VI and that familiar faces (Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher) will be returning alongside newcomers including John Boyega, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Daisy Ridley. We probably won’t see his face, but Andy Serkis‘ body movements will be on display as well. Check out the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens below.

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Warner Bros.

It’s been 11 years since we last saw Peter Pan. In 2003 P.J. Hogan made a surprisingly exciting and faithful adaptation of Peter Pan — one that really delved into the sexual subtext of J.M. Barrie’s text — but it didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Since it wasn’t much of a hit, that means nobody is complaining about already bringing the character back to the big screen. Joe Wright’s Pan isn’t a remake or reboot, though, but a prequel. Pan stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and Garrett Hedlund as the innocent James Hook (who one day, of course, becomes Captain Hook). The trailer begins with an introduction to Pan (Levi Miller), an orphan during WWII. One night him and his buddies are kidnapped by pirates disguised as clowns, led by Blackbeard.

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Jurassic World

They promised us a Thanksgiving debut, then they opened the park a few days early. This doesn’t bode well for the ultimate fate of the Jurassic World theme park — an early opening of sorts is what got the original Jurassic Park into a lot of trouble — but it’s great for the rest of us. Especially everyone who is clamoring to see what director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) has cooked up for the rebirth of one of the seminal franchises of the 1990s. The first trailer is here and it has everything you could want from a Jurassic Park flick: unaccompanied minors (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson), a dangerously innovative park owner (Bryce Dallas Howard), one guy who clearly sees that this is all going to end terribly (Chris Pratt) and a moody version of John Williams’ original score. See for yourself below.

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Universal Pictures

As a large, bearded man whose wardrobe consists of many hooded sweatshirts and whose primary occupation includes typing words into the void, I’m not ashamed of many things. I’m certainly not ashamed of my unabashed love for Pitch Perfect, the 2012 musical comedy about the highly competitive world of collegiate acapella. It starred the adorable Anna Kendrick alongside a host of comedic and musical talents such as Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson and that guy from Workaholics whose name I always get confused with the guy from Maroon 5 (Adam DeVine). If you’ve seen the first film, you know that it’s about as infectious and fun as any movie we, the collective of moviegoers, have seen in the last half decade. And now there’s making a sequel. As a teenaged girl might say, SQUEEE!! The first Pitch Perfect 2 trailer is now online following a debut at a quote-a-long event in Los Angeles last night and it has plenty to offer: More singing, more pizazz and for some inexplicable reason, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. (and several of his teammates).

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A24

New movie trailers drop every day, and it’s not always all that easy to keep up with them. Okay fine, it is easy, but sometimes there just isn’t a lot to say about a film that’s still many months away from release. We covered a few of this week’s offerings already — the big ones (Cinderella), the unfortunate ones (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2), the ones that just annoy us (The DUFF) — but there are more that either by accident or intention managed to slip between the cracks. So allow me to bring you up to speed with the rest of this week’s new trailers for movies due out in the months to come. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but one of them just might just be for a certain upcoming film starring Harrison Ford. Yeah, that’s right. Keep reading for your first look.

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The DUFF

You’d be forgiven if you watched the first trailer for Ari Sandel‘s The DUFF and believed that you were watching a trailer for a new parody feature, in the vein of Not Another Teen Movie or Epic Movie. After all, this first trailer hits all the beats of parody, filled with the kind of worn-out tropes and flaccid observations about teen life that would not be out of place with a poorly received nineties teen comedy or a tongue-in-cheek send-up from the aughts. The problem, of course, is that The DUFF is a straightforward feature. In short terms, it’s all real. As our friends over at UpRoxx note, “someone has made an unsatirical Not Another Teen Movie,” one that even uses the old “this girl who wears overalls is unattractive and we know that because she wears overalls” trick. And it’s certainly an old trick. It’s just too bad it hasn’t gone anywhere since 1999, when She’s All That used it as a plot point, or even 1986, when Pretty In Pink did it, too. Some things don’t change, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t — or that films like The DUFF have irreparably broken the very cycle that is responsible for giving us modern teen classics.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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